The Merriam Webster dictionary defines vocational as "undergoing training in a skill or trade to be pursued as a career". A vocational coach is an individual or counselor with a wealth of life experience who assists persons in need of a career change. The coach often has been in a situation where he found his own job situation to be bleak and decided it was high time for a change of direction.
A vocational coach assesses her clients' current jobs, what they want to do and what their personal strengths are. From this assessment she begins to devise a plan by exploring what her client's true passions are and what career opportunities may match up with those passions. The published essay "The Vocational Coach" describes most clients as being at or over the age of 40, a critical age when working individuals start to realize that retirement is getting closer by the minute. Perhaps there is no life savings to fall back on or she is working only for a paycheck and not getting anything out of the job. This is when a vocational coach steps in.
Most vocational coaches work for themselves and network in communities, churches and at learning annexes to generate clients and create a buzz about their services. Some secondary schools have vocational coaches on staff to assist students with life and career goals. Make phone calls to local schools and community organizations or search the Internet yellow pages for private clients or not-for-profit centers that may be looking for a vocational coach.
There are three qualitative requirements for a vocational coach: Be a good listener, have a genuine concern for the client and be able to offer sound advice that can meet the client's expectations. Life experience is needed to teach and inspire by example, so candidates should have had a previous career other than that of a vocational coach.
There are no educational requirements to be a vocational coach, but it is helpful to take coursework in communications or presentation skills to increase your effectiveness when speaking to large crowds or an audience in a group setting.
According to Payscale.com, the average salary for a vocational coach is approximately $32,151 per year.